Trae Tha Truth is a well-regarded veteran of the Houston rap underground. He used to be half of the duo ABN — Assholes By Nature, great name — with his cousin Z-Ro. These days, he persistently cranks out muttery fast-rap jams and occasionally takes advantage of his considerable rap-world connections. Every so often, Trae rounds … More »
Paring down an entire year’s worth of songs is no easy feat.
2018 saw the explosion of songs like ZEDD‘s “The Middle” and Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” dominating both the dance music charts and the radio airwaves. Ear-catching tracks like these, along with fan favorites like FISHER‘s persuasive “Losing It” and Anti Up‘s entertaining “Pizza” wiggled their way into festival sets around the world and — love them or hate them — stood out as notable tracks that do their part in immortalizing this whirlwind of a year.
We also saw a creative collective of remixes surface in 2018, including Rinzen‘s compelling take on deadmau5 and Rob Swire‘s hit “Monophobia” and Skrillex‘s intoxicating rendition of Travis Scott‘s “Sicko Mode.” We celebrated the return of Gesaffelstein with “Reset” and welcomed new projects from Diplo in LSD and Silk City. We welcomed collaborations from Ekali, Medasin, and Elohim in “Forever,” Tiësto, Dzeko, Post Malone, and Preme in platinum smash hit “Jackie Chan,” and ZHU and Tame Impala in “My Life.”
Ultimately, though, we’ve narrowed 2018 down to 30 tracks that stole our hearts and smashed streaming records.
Every year, the parameters for this list get a little more specious. With the rise of streaming services and the decline of physical media, the distinctions between a 7″ and a 12″ have largely faded away. Today, everything is a “project” or a “collection” or (groan) a “playlist.” Artists are still releasing EPs in name, … More »
GRiZ has made his soulful return to electronic frontlines with a double-dose of his boogie emblem. In 2018, GRiZ has been wowing funk-friendly crowds near and far, at hallowed venues like Chicago’s Navy Pier and Red Rocks, with the help of his newly instated 15-piece live band.
The two new tracks, “It Gets Better” and “Can’t Get Enough,” mark the end of a year of release dormancy for the longstanding hallmark in the electronic circuit. The latter of offerings ushers in GRiZ’s inaugural vocal display, as the Denver-based producer delivers his own rap verse, over a bout of his characteristically glitchy guitar riffs. Choral supplement runs abound in “It Gets Better,” which features the GRiZ-adjacent proponent of all things “love and positivity,” Virginian rapper, D.R.A.M.. Both tracks fit neatly inside GRiZ’s perpetual good-time arena—while he continues to stretch into formerly untapped artistic reservoirs.
Chromeo‘s DRAM-assisted “Must’ve Been” has been given a stunning overhaul by fast rising R&B duo THEY. The original track has been in rotation since April as an up-beat single from the Funklordz latest LP Head Over Heels, featuring an infectious hook courtesy of the Virginia-born rapper and an ultra-cheeky music video to match. The song previously received remix treatments from artists including CID, Mercer, and Yolanda Be Cool.
Mind of a Genius-championed production outfit THEY. take the original’s chorus and a slinky new verse from singer Drew Love, and lay them over a lush, retro-inspired R&B production from the duo’s producer Dante Jones. The result isn’t just a remix, but a unique reimagining of the original canvas. Even Chromeo themselves admit THEY.’s take caught them by surprise, and could be even better than the original. Dave 1 elaborated to Complex,
“Obviously we’ve been fans of THEY. for a minute (Dante’s a genius producer). We were initially expecting some sort of remix or rework but they’ve turned ‘Must’ve Been’ into an entire different song! Not gonna lie, it might be better than the original.”
Although he’s released a fair amount of collaborations, we hadn’t heard much from DRAM under his own name since his 2016 full-length Big Baby D.R.A.M. until the rapper-singer surprise-released his That’s A Girls Name EP last month. It was very good. Today he’s sharing the music video for the EP’s lead … More »
DRAM has effectively surprised his listeners by dropping a brand new EP out of the blue — an increasingly common practice in the music industry. That’s A Girls Name contains three tracks: “Best Hugs,” “WWYD?” and “Sundress.” With a laid-back vibe and live feel, this EP screams summer. “Best Hugs” and “WWYD” bring a chilled, California-inspired atmosphere behind DRAM’s uplifting vocals. “Sundress” has a more indie feel, with a leading bass line atop a rock canvas.
The talented vocalist has proven his vast range in both a singing and a production sense across multiple releases. For further inspection into DRAM’s chops, check out his stripped-down rendition of Andre 3000s “Prototype.”
His last EP was his Christmas project, #1HappyHoliday. Since then, he’s collaborated with Diplo, Charlie Heat, Chromeo, and Neil Young. The Virginia-born’s debut album, Big Baby DRAM, which featured his breakout hit, “Broccoli” with Lil Yachty, dropped in 2016, boasting appearances from Young Thug and Erykah Badu. His debut single, “Cha Cha,” was also a piece of audio heat.
Photo Credit: @bigbabydram/Soundcloud
Right up until the release of their brand new album, Head Over Heels, Chromeo was building up to the massive amount of funk that would follow.
One of the most outright instances of this was when the duo took the Late Show with Colbert and DRAM to play out the LP’s first single, “Must’ve Been,” the night before the album’s release.
In an effort that would only go on to ensure listeners would continue to fall head over heels for the new material, Chromeo let the funk flow, bringing out a full-on gospel choir and letting loose.
Photo Credit: Tim Saccenti
Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo has been keeping fans on their toes with the announcement of their fifth studio album, Head Over Heels, on the horizon for this June. With lead singles like “Bedroom Calling” and “Must’ve Been,” it seems as if the guys are dipping even more into R&B by enlisting features like D.R.A.M. and The-Dream.
CID takes the funky original “Must’ve Been” and turns it into a high-energy deep house tune that dances with clean high hats and strategic vocal chops that will start your week in style.
Bristol-based producers Blonde have put their own groovy twist on the already-energetic original. They’ve substituted a lively piano and dance beat for the original’s guitar melody, priming the single for the dance floor. Blonde’s rendition maintains the spirited atmosphere of the original, but adds an extra kick of dance music appeal.
After revealing a series of singles like “Juice” and “Bedroom Calling,” we’re just a month shy of the release of Chromeo’s fifth studio album, Head Over Heels, out June 15 on Big Beat/Atlantic Records.